My Creations, Places I like

Thursday, April 11, 2013

78 Things I've Learned From Culinary School

    I've been extremely busy lately as things come down to the wire, so here is a comedic list of things I have learned during my two years at the CIA (in no particular order), hope you enjoy. 

  1. Your kitchen shoes will smell no matter what you do. Under no circumstances should you leave your shoes in your car (especially if the windows are closed), or in your closet with your weekend attire. Place them in a well circulated environment or you will regret it. 
  2. Which brings me to my next point, if you step in a puddle by the dish pit at the beginning of class and you can feel it in your socks for the entire day, its time for new kitchen shoes...
  3. Side towels, aprons, and toques (chef hats), are the currency that will one day run this school. People will always steal them from your laundry, and they are fairly expensive to buy new ones at the bookstore.
  4. Always do laundry late at night, or early in the morning otherwise #3 will occur. Side Note: I had my bed sheets stolen during the busiest three weeks before externship leaving me no choice but to turn my blanket into a cocoon to avoid sticking to the plastic mattress the school provides. 
  5. It doesn't matter how shitty your dorm bed is. After a long day in the kitchen, every bed is the best bed you've ever slept in.
  6. If your school I.D. is not in your pocket when you get to class, be prepared to wait outside your lodge at midnight in the rain for twenty minutes until someone walks by to let you in. 
  7. HBO GO and illegal TV downloading sites are essential to your survival. Never in my life have I watched so many shows I've heard nothing about while making timelines and  writing down recipes in my room. 
  8. Buy note cards in packs of five hundred.
  9. Solo cups and disposable plates are your fine china.
  10. The basketball court is full of the most nonathletic kids who all know how to make a decent hollandaise.
  11. Never eat in a kitchen that is on its day one, especially pre-externship kitchens. We switch classes every three weeks and every day one is a shit-show. 
  12. If your suite mates are on opposite schedules as you, chances are you will never know them. There used to be four of us in Juniper Lodge room 200, now its down to two of us. We have spoken to each other for a month now about classes and everything else under the sun, and I still don't know his name. I'd be willing to bet he doesn't know mine either. "Man" and "bro" always works. 
  13. Save your culinary will need it when your real currency fails you
  14. When your kitchen class needs a "volunteer" to take out the gigantic bag of dirty linen at the end of the night, don't be the guy to volunteer. Just don't. 
  15. Every chef you ever have (except for one or two) completely forgets who you are once you are done with their class
  16. AM schedule is the worst thing imaginable. 
  17. You can never have TOO much fabreeze.
  18. The scariest chefs are not that scary after three days.
  19. If you do not fall asleep during the first hour of climbing into bed, your f*@ked.
  20. When you wear your front of the house uniform (FOH), it does not matter how short your tie is because you wear a vest. Go for the fat double-winsor, or GO HOME. 
  21. Only buy bars of soap if you really really trust your roommates.
  22. NEVER buy disposable razors...
  23. If you fold your laundry fresh out of the dryer, the iron in your closet will become the most useless thing you have ever bought.
  24. To outside visitors you are just "part of their experience".
  25. Chef Eglinski is the MAN. How a master baker puts up with class after class of culinary students fresh from externship blows my mind.
  26. When you first get here, befriend a baking student.
  27. The students who constantly name drop their externship site most likely got treated like dog shit and must constantly validate themselves in front of their peers. 
  28. When your chef is on a rampage, tearing the entire class a new one....look not important. 
  29. Never throw rubber gloves in the compost bin. Especially if your name is Clayton Nelson.
  30. Have your school email forwarded to your real email account.
  31. Always have a minimum of three sharpie markers at all times.
  32. If you move your leg just the slightest during the night and your calf cramps from dehydration, DO. NOT. MOVE.
  33. If your window doesn't have a screen, prepare for bugs...
  34. Students complaining about the crappy knives in the knife kit we are GIVEN deserves a "first world problems" MEME.
  35. Pay attention in wines class. The spit cup is mandatory, but its really optional. 
  36. Zero absences on your transcript means nothing. 
  37. Most of the people you meet will come and go in front of your very eyes. In fact, 98% of the people you meet at school you will never see ever again.
  38. Noravirus is NO JOKE.
  39. Parking is impossible unless its the weekend. If you're lucky enough to bag a spot in the front row, never drive your car again. 
  40. You will get tired of the world's greatest college meal plan within a few months. 
  41. If you spend more than a dollar on shower flip-flops you're not even looking. 
  42. Dried pasta ain't that bad.
  43. Your RA does not care what you do.
  44. If your kitchen has a dishwasher, befriend him. He will save you more than your classmates most of the time. 
  45. Neckerchiefs feel like you are slowly being strangled by a small baby.
  46. Everybody looks better in a FOH uniform.
  47. You have two towels for the shower, you only need one.
  48. Buy shampoo, toothpaste, soap, shaving cream, and toilet paper BEFORE you run out....or get creative.
  49. If you grab an oven door or pot handle without a side towel chances are you're going to have a bad time. 
  50. Steam and blisters do not get along.
  51. There is ALWAYS a secret staircase that gets you there faster. 
  52. If you leave a ballpoint pen in your chef jacket when you do laundry, buy new chef jackets...
  53. Stuffed pretzels from Apple Pie Bakery will blow your mind. 
  54. The basketball court is closed every three weeks for graduation. 
  55. Never use metal chopsticks.
  56. Your mechanical pencil is always out of led. 
  57. When serving customers, always serve from the RIGHT with the RIGHT. 
  58. Aprons are reversible. 
  59. The bread in the dining hall is almost always stale bake shop bread.
  60. Your chef sees EVERYTHING. 
  61. When walking in the halls, never walk in the middle. 
  62. Tap water is drinkable. 
  63. Printing requires culinary cash. 
  64. Never walk near a flock of geese in the Spring. 
  65. Special Project Days means no class. 
  66. When you move in, pray for a floor close to the ground level. 
  67. If there is a spider in your room...good luck sleeping. 
  68. Customers are everywhere.
  69. White V-neck Tees are your only clothing. 
  70. Chef pants can also be pajama pants. 
  71. Your knife better be able to cut through a sheet of paper. 
  72. After extern, the group leader pin means nothing. 
  73. Scrape out your pots before dropping them in the sink or everyone hates you. 
  74. Always bring a water bottle to class. 
  75. If you do not drink coffee, START. 
  76. Label all your knives and utensils with unique colored tape. 
  77. The smallest cuts bleed the most.
  78. If you have a food blog, it will never get updated.